Childlike vs. Childish

We tend to either become not childlike, bored and boring grown-ups or remain childish children difficult to deal with for the rest of our lives.

To be able to watch clouds and recognize shapes and forms …

It may seem like a language problem to you, but I find it a basic concept of the new age psychology and philosophy. It is all about stopping to be childish and grow up on one hand. On the other hand, we are advised to retain some child-characteristic traits and remain childlike as adults.

What does it mean to quit being childish? Please feel free to correct me and to add items I have forgotten, while I try to mention as many as possible. One point of growing up would definitely be to take responsibility for one’s actions and words. The other, in my opinion, is to learn how to control our feelings. We cannot always get angry for instance. In general it is better to calm down by exercise or breathing or any kind of meditation, gather one’s thoughts in an orderly fashion and tell the person we were angry at kindly what bothers us. We also cannot cry every time things are not done our way. In my opinion it is sensible to fight for our cause only if it is really important and central to our life. Again, it is better to do it in a calm way after the hidden tears, because while crying we tend to dramatize and become unrealistic.

It is important to know exactly what we mean when we accuse somebody of being childish, because such accusations can also be wrong and serve as a means of manipulation in relationships. For example a life partner can be unwilling to reach compromises on a daily basis and accuses the other partner of being childish for not accepting his will. While we all know that love relationships decisions and choices should be half the will of one and half the will of the other partner. This being a general rule of course, not an exact mathematical rule.

And what do I mean by ‘childlike’? Curiosity is definitely a trait celebrated by new age. It keeps us active and interested instead of being bored and passive. The ability to wonder, furthermore, is one to be admired. To adore beauty, righteousness and truth instead of constantly searching for bad aspects of life on earth. To be able to watch clouds and recognize shapes and forms in them instead of constantly watching TV for pleasure for instance.

Then, there is the ability to play instead of talking politics and meddling into other people’s affairs in one’s spare time. Adults usually play with children, we could do it among ourselves too, couldn’t we?

In addition to that, there is the so called inner child, who needs compassion and nourishment. Once we recognize the childhood traumas, we can learn to treat ourselves with compassion and not expect too much of ourselves. The childhood experience made us who we are and there will always be our weaknesses originating from our childhood traumas.

To sum up, in some aspects we are supposed to grow up and in some not. This is the glorified way of life, yet it is also the most difficult one. That is why we tend to either become bored and boring grown-ups or remain children difficult to deal with for the rest of our lives.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

One Response to “ “Childlike vs. Childish”

  1. Helena Smole says:

    A friend of mine commented that Why? – so frequently asked by children – is also a habit we should keep as adults. And it was already Socrates in ancient Greece that was teaching his students through questions, it is not all new age and only new age.

    Take care,
    Helena Smole

Leave a Reply